5 Most Iconic NHL Arenas of All Time
There are currently more than twenty hockey arenas across North America and Canada that the NHL regularly uses. However, certain rinks are more memorable than others.
They may have hosted some of the most legendary games in the league or have unique nuances not found in other arenas. After all, the league has been around since 1917. There are many iconic moments ingrained in the fans’ minds that are linked to the rinks.
True NHL fans visit these iconic arenas not only to watch games but also to re-experience those historic events. Some of the venues host tributes to commemorate the league. Here is the list of iconic NHL arenas which many hockey fans have always loved.
1. Bell Centre
The Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, was previously known as the Molson Centre or Le Centre Molson. It is a sports and entertainment arena that was opened on March 16, 1996, following a construction period of almost three years. This rink can host up to 21,105 visitors per hockey game.
It is the home of the Montreal Canadiens, one of the teams with the most wins in the NHL. Since its inauguration, the Bell Centre has maintained a reputation as one of the busiest arenas worldwide, attracting the highest attendance among Canadian sports venues. In 2012, it ranked as the fifth-busiest arena globally in ticket sales for non-sporting events.
The venue offers a fun experience to fans of the Canadiens and other teams playing on its rink. Fans may get a chance to visit the players’ locker room and attend post-game press conferences. Visitors can also purchase the Canadiens’ merchandise at the venue.
2. Xcel Energy Center
Xcel Energy Center is a multipurpose arena located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Local energy company Xcel Energy sponsored its development, hence the name. The place has a capacity of 17,954. It is in close proximity to other prominent venues, such as the RiverCentre, Roy Wilkins Auditorium, and the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.
The center serves as the home arena for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, a Western Conference team. It also hosts the Minnesota Swarm of the National Lacrosse League (NLL).
NHL fans can book individual and group tours at Xcel Energy Center. Guides will accompany visitors to walk through the six levels of the facility. Fans may get the chance to take pictures of some Minnesota players at the venue. In addition to NHL games, Xcel Energy Center regularly hosts charity games.
3. Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, also known as MSG or The Garden, is a multipurpose indoor arena in Midtown Manhattan, New York. It’s located between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Opening its doors on February 11, 1968, MSG remains the most frequently used sports venue in metropolitan New York. It can accommodate up to 19,500 visitors per game.
In addition to hockey games, MSG hosts professional basketball events. It is also a popular place to watch boxing matches, concerts, ice shows, and circuses. MSG is the home to the New York Rangers, an NHL team in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers have won the Stanley Cup four times.
The MSG’s architecture is one of the highlights of the venue. It features a large glass ceiling and a unique interior design. MSG hosts theme nights throughout the season for select games to enhance the visitors’ experience. Hockey fans can also pay extra to get exclusive perks, such as a fine dining experience and lounge seating in games.
4. Ball Arena
Ball Arena, formerly known as Pepsi Center, is a versatile arena located in Denver, Colorado. The indoor arena has a maximum capacity of 21,000.
The venue is the home of the Colorado Avalanche, an NHL team in the Western Conference. The Avalanche was formerly based in Quebec — at that time known as the Quebec Nordiques — but later moved to Denver. The Colorado team has won three Stanley Cups, the latest one in 2022.
Fans can purchase the Avalanche’s authentic merchandise at the venue. There are several merchandise booths located across Ball Arena. Visitors can also opt for a premium experience when watching NHL games at the arena.
At Ball Arena, fans can also watch professional basketball and lacrosse games when the NHL is not in season. The venue is the home to NBA’s Denver Nuggets and NLL’s Colorado Mammoth.
5. Amalie Arena
Amalie Arena is an all-purpose arena in Tampa, Florida. Originally named the Ice Palace, the arena underwent several name changes over the years. Some NHL fans may recognize it as the St. Petersburg Times Forum. Its maximum capacity for an NHL game is around 19,000.
The arena serves as the home venue for the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL. The team has brought home the Stanley Cup three times. The large venue also regularly hosts professional basketball, arena football games, and concerts.
Amalie Arena has witnessed numerous memorable moments in the Lightning’s history. In 2020 and 2021, it witnessed the Lightning winning the championship. That was the first two-straight wins in the team’s history. The arena also hosted the memorable NHL All-Star Game back in 1999.
Each NHL arena offers unique features that others may not have. Fans may be drawn to specific qualities offered by these venues. TheStadiumsGuide offers a comprehensive guide to NHL arenas, providing fans and newcomers to explore and appreciate the distinct qualities of each rink. Hockey fans can find important information, such as capacity, home team details, and notable events hosted in each arena.
Fans seeking a memorable experience may prefer older arenas like Northlands Coliseum, the home of the Edmonton Oilers. But, those looking for modern amenities might opt for newer arenas like the Prudential Center, home to the New Jersey Devils.
Certain arenas highlight their add-on services. The PNC Arena, the home of the Carolina Hurricanes, is known for its excellent catering service. The venue offers more than 50 food and beverage outlets to serve various preferences.
Those willing to pay hundreds of dollars to watch their favorite games comfortably will likely choose premium seating. Each venue offers distinctive premium perks, like the 40-people party hosting offered by Scotiabank Arenas. Certain venues even provide concierge services to elevate the experience.